The more our technical civilization advances and the more, therefore, the study of things as distinct from the study of men and their ideas qualifies for the more important and influential positions, the more significant becomes the gulf that separates two different types of mind: the one represented by the man whose supreme ambition is to turn the world round him into an enormous machine, every part of which, on his pressing a button, moves according to his design; and the other represented by the man whose main interest is the growth of the human mind in all its aspects, who in the study of history or literature, the arts or the law, has learned to see the individuals as part of a process in which his contribution is not directed but spontaneous, and where he assists in the creation of something greater than he or any other single mind can ever plan for. It is this awareness of being part of a social process, and of the manner in which individual efforts interact, which the education solely in the sciences or in technology seems so lamentably to fail to convey. It is not surprising that many of the more active minds among those so trained sooner or later react violently against the deficiencies of their education and develop a passion for imposing on society the order which they are unable to detect by the means with which they are familiar.
F.A. Hayek, Studies on the Abuse and Decline of Reason
All political theories assume, of course, that most individuals are very ignorant. Those who plead for liberty differ from the rest in that they include among the ignorant themselves as well as the wisest.
From the fact that people are very different it follows that, if we treat them equally, the result must be inequality in their actual position, and that the only way to place them in an equal position would be to treat them differently. Equality before the law and material equality are therefore not only different but are in conflict with each other; and we can achieve either one or the other, but not both at the same time
Implementations of communism have been shitty and personally I'm not much more than a socialist but it's undeniable that modern capitalism is destructive and harmful to both people and our planet. Capitalist ideas of freedom is only freedom for the few, the means of which inevitably involve exploitation and ends of which inevitably involve the expense of the majority.
I have heard this argument that socialism is a comprimise between capitalism and communism before, so I have to ask, how would transferring ownership from several people (or a few as is the point of your question) to a committee of possibly fewer people increase freedom for the masses. Surely the politicians would be looking out for their own self interest (i.e. best case scenario: getting reelected, worst case scenario: giving special favors to those that line their pockets).
As for the businessman, they would need to look out for the best interest of his consumers, lest said consumers find a different businessman. Even if there are only a few businessmen in said industry, it only takes 1 rebel to shake everything up.
Provided there aren’t many barriers to entry it is fairly easy to compete against big business. Sure they have the economies of scale, but small business have the agility and ability to cater to niche markets.
Given the low turn around rate both in congress and even in local elections I highly doubt that if a politician isn’t looking out for the best interest of his constituents that he will be voted out.
This quote from Hayek sums up pretty nicely the whole freedom issue.
And that is all Capitalism really is at it’s most basic function, private ownership and free trade.
I would suggest you look into Hayek. He is one of those socialist turn free market people and makes some of the most profound arguments I have ever heard.
On your comment about the environment, there are free market arguments against pollution. Mainly the idea of private property, you cannot damage my property, only I can, and if you damage my property, you are liable for that damage. This is why I am not against, like say a business is throwing carcinogens in the air, they should be made to stop.
Let’s say, hypothetically, the planet is dying, (I am only saying hypothetically because recently I have learned the truth is a little deeper than what I learned in high school about climate change, I hope you can understand this) Communist China is a vastly larger polluter than any other country on the planet. So bad that is even effect California from time to time. This does not help the case that only capitalism will kill the planet.
But here is the real kicker, the thing I have actually been working on, because by god it will make me a lot of money if I can pull it off, what if you invented a way to clean the air? I’m talking something that can make the air of Beijing clear, not just visible, but clear. Just a really efficient air filter that can clean a whole city? Capitalism is the system of “see a need, fill a need, if it is truly a need, it will make you rich”
Do you understand what I am trying to get at? I apologies I am not the most eloquent of writers, and i am a little tired. but hopefully I have conveyed my ideas well enough.
Thank you for the ask! If you would like you can always message me too, I don’t bite lol.
In my earlier efforts to criticize the concept I had all the time the feeling that I was hitting into a void and I finally attempted, what in such cases one ought to do in the first instance, to construct as good a case in support of the ideal of ‘social justice’ as was in my power. It was only then that I perceived that the Emperor had no clothes on, that is, that the term ‘social justice’ was entirely empty and meaningless. As the boy in Hans Christian Andersen’s story, I ‘could not see anything, because there was nothing to be seen.’ The more I tried to give it a definite meaning the more it fell apart — the intuitive feeling of indignation which we undeniably often experience in particular instances proved incapable of being justified by a general rule such as the conception of justice demands. But to demonstrate that a universally used expression which to many people embodies a quasi-religious belief has no content whatever and serves merely to insinuate that we ought to consent to a demand of some particular group is much more difficult than to show that a conception is wrong. In these circumstances I could not content myself to show that particular attempts to achieve ‘social justice’ would not work, but had to explain that the phrase meant nothing at all, and that to employ it was either thoughtless or fraudulent. It is not pleasant to have to argue against a superstition which is held most strongly by men and women who are often regarded as the best in our society, and against a belief that has become almost the new religion of our time (and in which many of the ministers of old religion have found their refuge),and which has become the recognized mark of the good man. But the present universality of that belief proves no more the reality of its object than did the universal belief in witches or the philosopher’s stone. Nor does the long history of the conception of distributive justice understood as an attribute of individual conduct (and now often treated as synonymous with ‘social justice’) prove that it has any relevance to the positions arising from the market process. I believe indeed that the greatest service I can still render to my fellow men would be if it were in my power to make them ashamed of ever again using that hollow incantation.
The system of private property is the most important guaranty of freedom, not only for those who own property, but scarcely less for those who do not. It is only because the control of the means of production is divided among many people acting independently that nobody has complete power over us, that we as individuals can decide what to do with ourselves. If all the means of production were vested in a single hand, whether it be nominally that of “society” as a whole or that of a dictator, whoever exercises this control has complete power over us.
Many of the greatest things man has achieved are not the result of consciously directed thought, and still less the product of a deliberately coordinated effort of many individuals, but of a process in which the individual plays a part which he can never fully understand.
The power which a multiple millionaire, who may be my neighbor and perhaps my employer, has over me is very much less than that which the smallest functionaire possesses who wields the coercive power of the state, and on whose discretion it depends whether and how I am to be allowed to live or to work.
Even the striving for equality by means of a directed economy can result only in an officially enforced inequality - an authoritarian determination of the status of each individual in the new hierarchical order.